The number one ranked Test batsman in the world, Steve Smith recently detailed about his awkward yet effective batting technique in a chat with Rajasthan Royals’ teammate Ish Sodhi.
Smith’s unorthodox trigger movements and idiosyncrasies have been the talk of the cricketing town for several years now.
Bowling attacks from all around the globe have found it difficult to dislodge the Australian number three. Smith blocks the stump view for the bowlers by guarding them with an open stance, before the delivery.
As a result, Smith holds a Bradmanesque average of almost 63 in Tests, smashing 26 centuries and 29 half-centuries, to boost his tally to 7227 runs.
“It depends on who’s bowling, how is the wicket playing, how I am going to score and stuff like that or how people are trying to get me out. Probably that determines how open I am or otherwise how closed I am,” Smith told Sodhi, in a podcast organised by Rajasthan Royals.
“But my general stance where my back foot is going to almost off stump. Or maybe even outside at stages. I know that anything outside my eye-line isn’t hitting the stumps,” added Smith.
Smith is no mug with the bat in coloured clothing either. He holds a prestigious average of 43 in ODI cricket, amassing 4162 runs and notching up the three-figure mark nine times in his ODI career.
“For me, you shouldn’t get out if the ball is not hitting the stumps, so that is just a trick from me when I first started doing it, just limiting the ways I get out,” he said.
The New South Wales cricketer has the unique gift of fending or attacking deliveries bowled to his pads, with the bowlers falling for the LBW-bait.
“Sometimes, I get trapped in front but I’m okay with that at stages, knowing that if it is outside my eyeline, I don’t need to try and play the ball, I can just leave that,” concluded Smudge.
Both Sodhi and Smith were slated to resume their stint at Rajasthan Royals in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Unfortunately, the tournament was suspended amid the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.